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October 18, 2010

Carjacking continues to be a problem in New Jersey, particularly in Essex County, according to the 2008 state police Uniform Crime Report. There were 233 carjackings that year, 157 in Essex County. A handgun was used in 154 of the incidents, with 63 offenders relying only on physical force. No murders resulted from a carjacking, although two shootings did occur.

After dark, during the winter, in a residential area seems to be the most dangerous time and place for these offenses. (About 70 percent of the incidents occurred in a residential area.) Eighty-two percent of the offenders were black and 98 percent were male. A little more than half the victims were also black.

Carjackers were not on the lookout for expensive cars. The average value of the vehicles was $11,187; the most frequently hijacked vehicle was a Honda (12 percent). An arrest was made in only 7 percent of the crimes, while 15 percent were witnessed. A total of 67 percent of the vehicles were recovered.

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